|07-30-2007, 11:00 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Intensity increases, Broncos training camp glance Day 2
By Charlie O'Brien
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As the morning practice session drew near, there seemed to be some confusion among many of the Broncos players milling around near the practice field.
Were they supposed to be wearing their shoulder pads or not?
Luckily, the players figured it out and scurried inside to grab their pads before practice began -- and did they ever need them.
The second day of training camp was marked by physical play and a number of pad-popping hits.
Most notable was the hit linebacker Nate Webster, who seemed to show no ill effects after being briefly shaken up in Sunday's practice, laid on wide receiver Brian Clark, as the two met when Clark made a catch across the middle.
Webster's hit, among others including a few from veteran safety John Lynch, drew oohs and aahs from the crowd as the pads cracked in the sunny morning air.
But Lynch stressed that while a physical practice is a good thing, keeping players healthy is of the utmost importance.
"You've got to realize they're your teammates," Lynch said. "But one thing about (Head) Coach (Mike) Shanahan that's maybe a misconception is that he's known as a coach that takes care of his players. But when we put pads on, he expects us to come.
"That's the only way you get ready for it. You never want to hurt anyone, but when you've got a chance for a good thump, you give it."
Although Lynch laid a few of the more impressive hits of the day, he assured that there was plenty more in store. "I held back, I promise you," Lynch said.
TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW: With fellow rookie Marcus Thomas, defensive end out of Florida, wowing both teammates and fans Sunday with his acrobatic backflip, rookie running back Selvin Young of Texas had a tough time topping Thomas when it was his time to perform.
Young, like Thomas, was called before his teammates before stretching began. Young started by getting his teammates and the fans clapping in unison, then yelling out to remind everyone in attendance what the team's goal was: to win the Super Bowl.
Then, with a cacophony of claps going on around him, Young broke into what he called his "shake the haters off" dance, brushing his shoulders to indicate that the Broncos needed only to brush aside any doubters on their way to a title.
Unfortunately for Young, his act wasn't as well-received as Thomas' the day before.
"I got booed," Young said. "Maybe they didn't understand what I was trying to say."
But Young clarified his intentions after practice.
Since I've been here, there's been talk about the only goal we have is to win the Super Bowl. When you’re trying to do something a lot of people can’t do, you have a lot of haters," Young said. "So before practice I just wanted to get everybody to shake the haters off. I tried to teach them the 'shake the haters off' dance, but they didn’t get it."
After a few boos rang out from the veteran players -- including one who thought Young had better brush up on the words to his alma mater, saying that Young was "going to be singing tonight" -- Young returned to his place in line and began stretching. But Young said that while his dance performance didn't draw rave reviews, he was more worried about his performance with the football in his hands.
"Dancing and running the football are two different things, so as long as I can get out there and run the football, they’ll forget about that type of stuff." Young said. "Running the football is a whole lot more important."
DRE AND CHAMP: Newly-aquired cornerback Dre Bly made some nice plays in practice, including an interception in one-on-one drills, and told reporters after practice that he and cornerback Champ Bailey planned on pushing each other to new heights this season.
"I just think with Champ and myself and Lynch, we’ll raise the level of play," Bly said. "I know with Champ, having the years that he had the last couple of years, and being the best corner in the league, my chances are going to rise up. And if you don't know anything about me, I'm a very confident guy, and I believe in myself, and I do make plays. I'm accepting all challenges and looking forward to helping this team."
Bly also said he was excited to join a secondary with experienced veterans such as Bailey and Lynch.
"There’s no other secondary with the statistics we have," Bly said. "We've got other guys emerging and had a great draft so we're all excited. We definitely have the ability to do great things this year, and we're looking forward to doing great things."
While some might imagine a friendly competition would evolve when you put two elite cornerbacks on the same defense, Bly said that wasn't necessarily the case.
"Champ keeps thinking, now that I'm here, that he's going to get some more looks and that he's going to get some more balls, and I think it’s the opposite," Bly said. "But whoever gets the most picks, we both will root each other on, and when we get opportunities to make plays, we’re going to make them."
By Frank Schwab
ENGLEWOOD -- On the second day of training camp, Denver Broncos safety
John Lynch was hitting like he was ready for the regular season.
There aren’t many big hits administered in Broncos’ training camp — the players don’t have live tackling aside from a couple of drills every camp — but Lynch had a few hard collisions with running back Travis Henry and had another nice hit on receiver Glenn Martinez.
Lynch said there’s a misconception about coach Mike Shanahan because the Broncos don’t hit much in practices during the season.
“He does ask and demand of us that when we put on the pads, we put on pads for a reason,” Lynch said.
Lynch said he hoped his defensive teammates would follow his lead.
“You always want to take care of your teammates, but there’s a little bit of setting the tone for the team,” Lynch said.
Cornerback Dre Bly made a nice play during a team drill. He broke on a slant pass to Martinez and knocked the ball into the air. The ball landed in the arms of linebacker D.J. Williams, who turned and returned the interception to the end zone.
Mike Bell, who is working as the third running back behind Travis Henry and Cecil Sapp, dropped a pass when he was open over the middle. He got an earful from Shanahan when he got back to the sideline.
“It usually takes six or seven days to get a more realistic pecking order. Right now we are evaluating them every practice and we have some people that can compete.” — Shanahan on the competition on the defensive line.
The Broncos practice at 8:30 a.m. today with gates opening for fans at 7:30. Their afternoon practice starts at 3:50 p.m. with gates opening an hour earlier.
Three to watch
-- D.D. Lewis, linebacker: Monday was Lewis’ turn to work with the starting defense as the strongside linebacker. The Broncos will rotate strongside linebacker candidates with the starters until someone stands out.
-- Nate Webster, linebacker: Webster, a backup at middle linebacker and a candidate to start at strongside linebacker, had a big hit in a team drill, impressing teammates and fans.
-- Jason Elam, kicker: The Broncos attempted field goals for the first time in camp, and Elam was perfect on his attempts. He made 93 percent of his field goal attempts last season, the best mark of his career.
Still out: WR Rod Smith (hip, out indefinitely), TE Tony Scheffler (broken foot, two weeks), WR Brandon Marshall (quadriceps, one week), OT Doug Nienhuis (knee, day-to-day, CB Lamont Reid (arm, day-to-day).
Last edited by dragondawg; 07-31-2007 at 10:25 AM..